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National Library launches online portal for e-registration of standard numbers

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Lenrie Olatokunbo Aina<br />


In a bid to bring its services closer to Nigerians, the National Library of Nigerian (NLN) has created an online application (App) that makes it easy for publishers and writers to acquire International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and International Standard Book Number (ISBN). This is part of the library’s initiative to deepen the process of relating with publishers and writers.

The App was officially launched at the 2019 Nigerian International Book Fair held recently at the multi-purpose hall of University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. To flag off the launch was NLN’s Director-General, Prof. Lenrie Olatokunbo Aina, who also had senior staff of the library in attendance.

According to Aina, “we are here today, for two reasons. First, we want to launch a new application that has been developed by our staff, in fulfilment of one of President Buhari’s cardinal agenda, the ease of doing business. This application makes it easier for book publishers, authors and other interested persons or organisations to apply for, and obtain international standard numbers (ISBN & ISSN) for their publications within 24 hours, regardless of the time and their location, without necessarily having to physically visit any of our offices. 

“We are excited about this development because by this, we are making life easier for Nigerians and others who require our services. You are all aware that we have recently embarked on an aggressive sensitization campaign to enlighten researchers, authors, publishers and all stakeholders about the international standard for publishing.”

Prof. Aina said there was need for publishers and writers to comply with standardisation in the publishing industry in conformity with international standards. Workshops to this end were held in in Enugu, Sokoto, Yola, Ibadan, Bauchi and Port Harcourt. Next month it will be held in Kano.

During the workshop, according to him, “we discussed compliance with international standards for publishing and legal deposit compliance. Since the commencement of the series of workshops for this purpose, we have noticed positive improvement in the level of compliance.”However, amongst the challenges expressed by stakeholders is the time and effort requiring publishers or authors to physically visit any of our branches and thereafter having to wait for about 10 days or more before going back to get the standard numbers they need. This necessitated the development of this application.

“With this new application, we have reduced the burden of time and effort. Now, all that you have to do is log on to our website www.nln.gov.ng and navigate to the page, and commence the easy-to-follow process that would lead you through obtaining the standard number you need, right in your home or office, be it at night or in the day time.

“For the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), publishers will be able to search for the availability of the title they intend using for their journal, and if it has not been used by another publisher, you can go ahead to submit the relevant documents showing evidence that the intended journal meets the basic requirements after which you may go ahead to pay the administrative fee and the numbers would be assigned to you via registered email for the journal.”

Aina also said a similar process obtains for authors or publishers in need of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), “who can also log in and submit evidence of the book(s) for which standard number(s) is being sought for, and then make payment after which they will receive their number via their registered email. The application also makes it possible for both the National Library of Nigeria and publishers to track the level of legal deposit compliance, precondition for further issuance of new standard numbers.”

Also, Aina said the National Library of Nigeria has commenced this year’s national readership promotion campaign, with the theme ‘Reviving Moribund Culture of Reading in Nigeria For Sustainable National Development.’ He said the readership campaign for this year started May 7, 2019 in the state capitals of Anambra and Cross River. it is expected to go to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He noted that activities during the campaign would include reading competitions among secondary and primary schools, book parties that shall be held in motor parks where we intend to propagate the message to travellers that they can engage themselves in reading while waiting for take-off and during their journey. And also to encourage workers in the motor parks to read during their spare moments while at work, advocacy visit to maternity homes to encourage nursing mothers to introduce their children to reading very early in life, and the NLN/NYSC reading forums, which is a collaboration between the National Library of Nigeria and the National Youth Service Corps that would extend the campaign to all the local governments of the federation through corps members.”

“As an incentive, prizes of books, shelves, computers and reading tablets would be given out to student-participants across the locations,” he stated, adding, “The belief of the present administration is that the more people cultivated the habit of voluntary reading, the more informed, industrious, creative and productive they would be.”


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Lenrie Olatokunbo Aina
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